The Browns released Jamie Collins, according to a team announcement. The linebacker was due more than $10MM for 2019, an unpalatable amount given his lack of production last season.
“We want to thank Jamie for his contributions to the Cleveland Browns,” said general manager John Dorsey in a statement. “These types of decisions are never easy. Jamie is a respected veteran player in this league and we wish him the best as he continues his career.”
The Browns first tried to trade Collins, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), but they were unable to find a taker. The Browns also tried to move Collins at last year’s trade deadline, but couldn’t get a deal done.
Of course, that’s not to say Collins is washed up. Last year, Collins registered 104 tackles and four sacks across 16 games and graded out as just the No. 58 ranked LB in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. However, his contract made him the highest-paid traditional linebacker in the league and he has not been performing at that level.
Collins joined the Browns in a mid-season trade with the Patriots in 2016. Collins was outstanding in New England, but the Patriots were unwilling to make a sizable commitment to him as his contract was drawing to a close. He also didn’t help his case by allegedly “freelancing” on defense in order to pad his stats.
Releasing Collins will give the Browns an additional $9.25MM in cap room versus just $2.5MM in dead money. The Browns now have approximately $81MM in cap space, giving them the third-highest total in the NFL.
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